GE dimmer crackling noise and lights flash


(Erik Franzen) #1

I have a GE dimmer on some lights for a fan in my kids room. The fan and lights are on separate lines so the lights are the only thing controlled by the switch. We still have incandescent bulbs in this fan. Not all the times but sometimes when we set the dimmer really low I can hear a crackling sound from the switch and the lights go bright and dim until I turn it up or turn it off. Do I have a bad switch?


(JBrown) #2

Maybe a loose connection?


(Erik Franzen) #3

I’ll double check


(Erik Franzen) #4

Everything seems to be tight. The wires are cool but the switch it warm. It also has a faint smell of hot electronics. I am running about 180 watts through it.


(Ben W) #5

Has it always been like this or is it a new development?

I have one switch (not dimmer) that crackled. I believe I don’t have enough load through it (fluorescent lights) or maybe some feedback. Switch was not responding right, lights did not turn on or did not stay on. Pulled the airgap for a few minutes, hasn’t been an issue in a couple months.


(Erik Franzen) #6

Kids are in bed now but i will try and pull the air gap and see if that clears it up. If not i might send it back to amazon and get another one. It has always been finicky some times it wouldn’t work at all.


(Erik Franzen) #7

I can’t pull the air gap. i can on my other switches but this one will not pull out. Must be a bad switch. I even tried putting a small screw driver under it to pry it out and it would not come out. i am going to call and get a replacement switch.


(TJ) #8

Did you use the existing (longer) screws to install the faceplate? I did that and the switch seemed to ground out and caused the lights to flash. Once I switched to the (much) shorter screws that came with the switch, the problem disappeared.


(vlad) #9

Ran into the same thing. Freaked me out at first until I realized what was going on.


(Erik Franzen) #10

Faceplate has short screws and the ground wire seems to be just fine. I have called and they are going to send me another another one. I can remove the faceplate and try the switch again just to make sure.


(Erik Franzen) #11

Also this only seems to happen around the 10-40% once I get past that point it seems to work fine and the noise goes away for the most part.

I think the short is in the air gap switch. Since I can’t pull it out for the life of me and I can with all the other ones I have. I would assume that is the problem with this switch. I am guessing it is not making a good connection at the air gap and that is what I am hearing.